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tv   White House Chronicles  WHUT  September 13, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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>> hello, llewellyn king, the host of "white house chronicle," which is coming right up, but first a few thoughts of my own. i have been involved in a very minor way with the european
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union for a very long time. mostly, i am a supporter of it. i like the fact that europe is trying to stop centuries -- indeed millennia -- of warfare and to make something bigger of itself, a united states, if you will. but sometimes, the bureaucrats in brussels with the aid of their political bosses do the dumbest things. currently, it is all to do with these. that is an incandescent light bulb. work very well, do not last long, but they work very well. not good enough, says the european union. got to use one of those newfangled ones with the circles on it, and of course, people are understandably mad about that. i have one to show you, but i caught it and broke it, and i nearly just dropped this one and broke it, but not to worry. you know what they look like. as they get older, the light
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declines, so it is no good that the last 15 years because by about 10 years, you need new glasses to go with this long lived light bulb. it is a case of government coercion. it is silly, but it explains why people get a little scared of the government in the marketplace. i have a great show for you today with three of the most talented political commentators working in washington these days. you are going to love them, and we will be right back. >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut howard university television. and now, the program host, nationally syndicated columnist llewellyn king, and co-host, linda gasparello. >> hello again, and thank you
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for coming along. i promise you three great people, and three great people i have for you. linda gasparello, who, secretly i can tell you, actually broke the light bulb. i took the blame. i was being gallant, but actually, she did it. and from potus radio, the politics of the united states for people of the united states, joe mathieu. >> i tried to catch the light bulb. >> you are lucky you did not. anyway, that program is a mainstay of sirius xm radio. i'm very glad to say that the audio of this program is played at 9:30 a.m. on saturdays on potus on 110 and 130 sirius xm radio. and we're very glad to have back george wilson because he gets up every day and looks around the corridors, talking to people finding out what is going on.
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i know what your up to, trying to find out what is going on. and you are now the host of "gw on the hill," which is being played in washington on whur- 96.3 fm. i mention that because it is the sister station thewhut, which originates the program. >> i have full disclosure, whur is separate from sirius. i do both. >> know you both, but i'm trying to do something for our originating station. this is the plug each other program. the president did this extraordinary thing, a joint session of congress. he made a great pitch. did he get a sale? >> i think he got a sale from his own people, his own tribe. i'm not sure he got a sale from
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the other tribe, the republicans. what really interested me was that it was like a convention floor speech. it really had all of that energy of a convention floor speech. it was like we came after labor day, and we were coming into a national convention. people were getting excited about an election and a campaign, and the president made a convention floor speech, and it was everything you could imagine in that it had idealism in it. he talked about ted kennedy. he talked about ted kennedy's ideals for healthcare. on top of it, he laid out what he thought his vision of this bill that would you emerge from the congress would look like, telling people a little bit more specifically about what he would like, and he was very blunt in his criticism of the nonsense that has gone on to derail it. >> the people that i talked to this morning have all said that it was a hardline speech cloaked
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in very nice burbage -- verbage, that this was a speech that really would make nancy pelosi very happy. it made joe biden and cry. he looked very cheerful setting behind the president. >> i think the only thing missing last night was the yes we can from democratic members of the house. i think what is really going to happen, we obviously are going to read two bills. we are going to have a house bill which i think democrats can pass without republicans. the real battle comes on the senate side, just given what max baucus was talking about just yesterday. this public option may not be in the senate package. if we can ultimately get to conference, then we could have something going and ultimately began to craft a bill, but you have very separate ships out there now, and i think the president did an excellent job of portraying his end of it. >> he did not have great
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imagery, did he? he does not do imagery, he does not do churchill's fighting on the beaches or martin luther king jr. is mountain. >> they talked about when we came here, this is our moment, this is our time, and we came here to do a specific thing. >> i do not see that as the sort of illustration that changes the argument, but that is me. how did you find it? >> i have heard a lot of people since the speech, a lot of democrats say -- where has this guy been? we got our president back. this is the man we voted for. president went away for a couple of weeks of vacation, which was interrupted over and over again, but following that trail of healthcare, town halls with people screaming and swearing and waving their fingers, the president came back with a real renewed spirit, and i think it began on labor day when the
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president spoke at that labor day picnic in cincinnati. that was the barack obama we saw on the campaign trail. real fire. there was a look in his eyes that we have not really seen since he moved into the white house, and that is i think something that carried through in the address before congress. reaction has been pretty amazing, and the president is in a tough situation. he does not really have the ability to make anyone happy, but he has the opportunity to make a lot of people angry. the liberal wing of the democratic party still upset that he did not draw that proverbial line in the sand on the theoption. republicans -- line in the sand on the public option. republicans are upset. joe wilson screamed out in the middle of public address. i felt like we were watching something from the house of commons, and i can only imagine the article you are cranking out right now. >> i should remind people that joe has in his studio and
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recording of me paraphrasing somebody in the house of commons, which ended up with this piece of extraordinary piece of british eloquence -- " sit down, you sat faced with." that happens during a heated debate, often after the heat of having a little bit of refreshment. >> is interesting because remember at one point, john mccain was talking about how he would really like to have something like a parliamentary session of congress where they could sort of pass things out in the way it is done in the british parliament. we sort of had that last night. we had the president saying there is lying going on here and we had a representative wilson calling him a liar. that is done in the house of parliament all the time. >> and that was not the only instance. that is what we heard on radio and saw on television. if you are in the gallery, there
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was a lot more of that going on. that was pretty rambunctious for the u.s. house. >> it was as unseemly as we have seen the congress in quite awhile. >> there was this: we have discussed a little bit earlier. there is a very ugly tone that is pervasive in the congress, and now, it has gotten beyond just healthcare reform. it has gotten personal. we have gotten downright nasty, and i think now you have a number of people reflecting on this. barack obama is indeed the president. a lot of people are quite unhappy about it, and i think that these expressions of outrage -- unfortunately, we are going to see more of this. >> tell me about the role of the black caucus. it has influence with the left
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wing of the party, largely, doesn't it? can a twist the arms of the people who are holding out for a public auction? , -- for a public auction -- for a publicoption? >> i think they will be somewhat isolated. they will become obstructionist if they do not go along with the steamroller that is coming through right now. it is a very dangerous position. some that i have spoken to really fear being marginalized as a result of this. it will be interesting to watch. you would think that the congressional black caucus does have influence, but they submitted over 62 names with the president of people they thought could get jobs in the administration, and none of these were considered. >> there were not considered, or they were not given jobs? >> most of them did not even get interviewed. >> i wonder what the white house is saying behind the scenes with
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members of the cbc right now. it seems that the mentality of the white house is that public option is only going to slow us down. it is easier to change a lot and has one eventually. it a comeback in a couple of years. i wonder if we might see them pull back. >> that is their internal battle. you have the split within the caucus, some saying let's go along with the program, and others saying let's draw the line in the sand. you add up the number of cbc members with the latino caucus, etc., you are talking about potentially 80 votes. >> what is the president's relationship with members of the black caucus? who is he close to? who does he call? who is his champion? >> it would seem to me it would be inclined, who counts the votes, but it does not appear to
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be calling them up with a beer. >> article to him? -- are they cool to him? >> they all came aboard, but it was somewhat late during the election. maxine waters was not a big supporter at first, but she looked at what her constituents were doing, so she went along with it. i think there is a certain coolness that exists between the bodies. the expectations are very high, and so far he has not totally delivered. >> for the benefit of our listeners on sirius xm radio, i would like to do and a dedication. i'm llewellyn king. i'm joined by linda gasparello, by joe mathieu of potus on xm and george wilson of whur-96.3 fm. it is just by chance that we have so many people on the radio here today.
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it is much more portable than television and flexible. it does things for people who listen to it. if you listen to radio, your mind works. you fill in. he painted pictures. television and the supporters of television program, intends to answer all the questions. in some ways, television is a little like drinking. less fun, but it does suspend anxiety. talk about television. >> i want to give a shout out to our great viewers that are on public, educational, and governmental access programs, and my first is going to the state college of pennsylvania. they have been longtime viewers of us, and i really think they have carried our show, and i would like to say hello to you. >> talking about saying hello, can we say hello to the
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international problems consulting the president. >> we would rather say goodbye to a lot of the international problems confronting the president. >> but that is not that easy. in the old days, someone would ask me how you get out of something, and i would say ships and planes are a good way, but it may not be that easy anymore, although the brits had a great history of walking away from problems. they walked out of palestine. it walked out of india, and walked out of -- >> it seems that is not what is going to happen to us. >> why we have this enormous attention being paid to what is going on with health care, very domestic issue -- in fact, an issue which perplexes much of the world, who does not see what the problem is. they all have some sort universal system if they are industrialized countries, but very different systems, so they really do not see the problem.
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i know when i'm abroad, people ask what is going on. is not a big deal, the health- care system. but while we are so preoccupied, what is happening abroad? there are little indications that things are moving. the russian prime minister went to -- i beg your pardon. the israeli prime minister, netanyahu, went to see people and others in russia to try to persuade them to stop selling anti-aircraft devices and guns to iran. this suggests may be that israel really is going to try to attack on the nuclear facilities there. what do you think? >> this is a big month for iran. president obama has given them a deadline. basically, september. you either assure us that you
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are not involved in the militarization -- military nuclear station of your program, and we will reward you with a great opening, or we will impose very strict sanctions on you. and it has not been a very satisfactory response from iran so far. they have -- right now, they have been coming up with proposals and overtures to assure us back things may not be as bad as we think. we do not know what those are yet, but at the same point, there is a stalemate with the international atomic energy agency. they just cannot get the kind of verification that they need to ensure the world that iran is not involved in a military program. >> do you think there is going to be a unilateral israeli attack on nuclear facilities in
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iran? >> i do not pretend to know one way or the other. i'd love i -- i think is really -- israel as having that threat in the air, but i do believe the stories surrounding iran and a career with regard to nuclear proliferation will be very quickly eclipsed by what is happening in afghanistan, at least in terms of the news flow and what we will be obsessing over later in the season. we get through this health care debate may be around thanksgiving. afghanistan and pakistan will be the number one story and the number one concern for this white house. we obsess over iran and north korea, but it is hard to dispute that the greatest concern right now is that border along afghanistan and pakistan. the prospect of sending more troops into afghanistan will be a huge story in this country, something the president needs to make a decision on, and some fear that the increase of the u.s. presence in afghanistan will push the insurgency across that border into pakistan, the government is already unstable
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air, and they have nukes. that is something that scares me more than what i'm hearing from these other nations. >> if you look at iran on the question of afghanistan, you certainly have to consider the world wide implications of the unilateral attack if israel were to do something to iran or attend to do something. the implications to me are absolutely chilling. therefore, i do not think it is going to occur. i'm more concerned with afghanistan and this big question about the number of troops that would ultimately be there and how that plays domestically. will people here be cheering for increase troops in afghanistan? i do not think that is going happen. >> i think it is hard for people to understand the sort of asymmetrical warfare, why we take so many casualties, and there is no day where you can say we have one. >> i think that would be questioned.
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we put a few more troops in, does that whein? >> most americans cannot define victory. the white house has not clearly articulated that. eight years in, you have the general and his advisers saying it could be another 10. >> it is true, but we have also had secretary gates saying that we will not abandon them. he said that we are not going to leave afghanistan in the lurch. we did that once after the russian war, and it is a very different situation. it is a very pivotal area to secure. it is just that securing a in a way that we want to secure it will take so long, and i just do not think we have the stomach to do that. >> we have two wars, too. we have the war against the taliban and anacostia -- and al qaeda, but we also have the war against the growth of populism. that is going to go on anyway.
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>> i'm glad you mentioned that. as you were speaking, i was thinking about this year's harvest, and i do not know how much opium is coming out of that area, but i have a sneaking suspicion it has increased. if so, we are talking about more death and devastation, so you cannot really mentioned this area without talking about narcotics. >> just getting back to iran, both iran and afghanistan have also been loyal by-elections. they have not convince people that they are free and fair, so there's a lot of unrest just among people who otherwise we would be able to -- >> obama is in a very in difficult position that he has to deal with two people of dubious election attention in iran and in afghanistan, and yet, he is going to have to deal with them. unless there is a runoff in
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afghanistan, and that will not be any more fair or will be paid and this one has been. and maybe we are too anxious to have elections. our enthusiasm for democracy runs beyond our conception of the ability to have effective democracy. first stage is elections, and the second stage is to give some plurality that will keep the democracy democratic. >> when i was listening to the president this past week before a joint session of congress, i had to sit and think, how long will it be before he is back here before another address to convince lawmakers that we need to send tens of thousands more troops to afghanistan? >> i think that is going to happen very soon. i would imagine that even sometime this fall, he is going to have to make another appearance before the congress. >> coming back home but related to that part of the world, there is the climate bill, also known
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as the energy bill, which has passed the house to the satisfaction of all sorts of diverse constituencies and to the great annoyance of all sorts of diverse constituencies and which now leaders in the senate. >> i have been wondering about that particular bill. when you talk to them outside the chamber, they talk about their concern for the climate, and others say maybe it is a little hokey, but it seems to me right now that in the senate, where the delay actually occurs, that this might be a bill that does not make it out. >> i was just reading in one of the political publications about how it is going to impact agriculture and how the secretary of agriculture is running around saying that the price of diesel is going up, but there will be all these benefits. i do not think that anybody is in a mood to hear about anything that is going to increase the
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size of the federal payout when the federal government is in severe terrible deficit. >> i will be surprised if this came out of the senate, and i think it comes down to a case of salesmanship. we are talking about cap and trade. most people have no idea what that means, yet you hear the republican leadership, in the house, for instance, referring to it as nancy pelosi's tax and spend god killing planned. i remember that, and i think when people think about what this debate is, it is not terribly informed, and the white house has to go back to the drawing board on salesmanship. >> there is a complex ambivalence in the industry about this. some have signed on. the election utilities selectively have signed on after not liking it initially, and they got what they wanted.
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so you start looking at those who signed on to see what in this bill is appealing to them. i like the one out of chicago who said carbon taxes would be much simpler and cheaper, but we have to go this route. that is not a very convincing argument. >> i was just thinking back to it is also at a timer everybody is worried about more job losses. this has been a recovery -- a jobless recovery. i think at one point they were trying to sell the fact that there would be green jobs that would be created, and a lot of people would be, and it has just hit the brick wall of the other side, so we are coming out a wash on something. >> the habitable to explain what the green jobs are -- they have never been able to explain what
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the green jobs are. and then there's a sort of not doing the obvious, or are they going green to avoid going nuclear, which is a rather appealing prospect. >> there was a green jobs czar a couple weeks ago who was going to explain that. >> he turned red and exploded. it is time for high notes and lotus. >> i'm so sorry this so many schoolchildren did not get a chance to watch the president because it was a really endearing and i think important speech for kids to hear. >> i will stay low. a pastor from arizona made news this week when the papers revealed that he delivered a sermon that said "i hate barack obama. i don't fit his policies. i hate the man barack obama, and i'm praying for his death." it's certainly shocked a lot of us who heard an end of the clock talking like this. we later found out he was taser
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of last april in a scuffle with border patrol, and it strikes me they could have increased the wattage on that a little bit, and that may have helped him. >> instead of happy talk about the economy recovering, record numbers of people are facing foreclosure, unemployment continues to soar, so i would have to see this as an overall will. in spite of lots of rhetoric. my question is where are the jobs, and how can you say people's houses? >> how did you feel about the president's speech to children? >> i thought it was a good speech, and there's no reason why people could not have seen it. is almost as a people are saving it cannot hear these men. >> your daughters to young, but she had been older, would you have been pleased >> for her to hear it > of course, this is the president of the united states. the president has the right to talk to students, has historically, and should in the future. >> some of the democracy loving
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opponents of the president seemed to have forgotten that he won the last election. that is our show for the day. we are so glad you came along. you can see the show and read some of my riding at we look forward to seeing you here on the same stations next week. have a great week. until then, cheers. captioned by the national captioning institute >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut howard university television. from washington, d.c., this has been "white house chronicle" -- a weekly analysis of the news
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with insight and a sense of humor, featuring llewellyn king, linda gasparello, and guests. this program may be seen on pbs stations and cable access channels. to view the program online, visit us at visit us at


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